Born in the coastal town of Alibag in the Raigarh district of Maharashtra, Anil Naik is the third- generation of professional artists in his family. Naik learnt art informally: accompanying his father, a painter, as well as an art director working in the theatre and the film industry, to work; observing his technique, listening in on conversations and eventually assisting him.
Naik started professional work early - when his father almost lost his eyesight due to optic neuritis. He was but eight or nine years old and took oncommercial.
work such as writing license plates of motor cars, creating hoardings and banners for political rallies during elections, painting the graphics of lorries, and enormous billboards or posters (30-40 feet) for companies such as Esso, Burmah- Shell, and Bharat Petroleum, as well as educational graphics in schoolrooms.
He went on to study at the JJ School of Art, Mumbai, specialising in academic realism and portraiture. In the subsequent odd years, Naik has received numerous prestigious commissions and awards both in India and abroad. Now a senior faculty member at his alma mater, Naik has been teaching for 30 years, a decision, he states, that has allowed him to continue learning and expand his oeuvre to include figurative works, abstracts, landscapes, as well as,exploring different media, such as digital imagery, video installations, photography, print making, and performance art.